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Old 04-11-2014, 02:20 PM   #1
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How many BTUs do I need?


I have a relatively small room; approximately 14 x 13. (Or round it up to 15 x 15 as I don't remember for sure).

I have an existing HVAC central air system; however, the cold air does not reach this front room. This room gets super hot in the summer and I'm thinking about adding a window unit. I'm going to have security bars attached to the outside windows for added security.

(Split systems, by code, can't be installed in the front of the house where I live, however, my brother is telling me a split system can be installed in the basement, but I'm getting other advice that advises against doing this, so I'm still leaning towards a window unit).

Additionally, I have tons of home theater equipment in there and the room can get as hot as 80 degrees, even at night. It's increasingly annoying and the room is nearly inhabitable and annoying to be in because of the heat. It's my gaming room and I want to enjoy it all summer!

One company told me I need 18,000 BTUs, and my brother, who's also in HVAC, is telling me I need 12,000 BTUs. Let's assume there will be no more than 2 people in my room at one time (I know this affects BTUs). How much do I really need?

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Old 04-11-2014, 05:18 PM   #2
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How many BTUs do I need?


Does this room have any windows that would add to heat gain? What direction does the room face? Is it well insulated? Is there existing ductwork run off of your existing system feeding this space? If so does it have any return vents in this space? Is the ceiling height standard 8 Ft?

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Old 04-11-2014, 06:34 PM   #3
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How many BTUs do I need?


Find the VA of all electronics that will be on while your in the room. Multiple that by 3.413. That will tell you how many BTUs you need for the equipment. then add 1000 BTUs for the 2 people. Plus 4000 BTUs for the room.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by HVACDave View Post
Does this room have any windows that would add to heat gain? What direction does the room face? Is it well insulated? Is there existing ductwork run off of your existing system feeding this space? If so does it have any return vents in this space? Is the ceiling height standard 8 Ft?
Yes. There are two windows that add to heat gain. This room faces the south. Too hot! I updated my location (ohio)

I believe it's well insulated. It's not blown in, it's this weird synthetic fur with paper or something. Existing duct-work? There is, but by the time the air reaches the room, it warms up. And yes, there is a return, near the door.

Ceiling height is 8ft. Standard. Yes.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:34 PM   #5
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Find the VA of all electronics that will be on while your in the room. Multiple that by 3.413. That will tell you how many BTUs you need for the equipment. then add 1000 BTUs for the 2 people. Plus 4000 BTUs for the room.
Okay, you think you can help me out with this?

Plasma TV 51 inch, 2 1500 VA ups', Yamaha RX-A1030 Receiver, and a newer game console. Only 1 game console would be on at a time, so we'll just say PS4, and two bodies.

Last edited by Anesthesiologis; 04-11-2014 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:51 PM   #6
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How many BTUs do I need?


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Okay, you think you can help me out with this?

Plasma TV 51 inch, 2 1500 VA ups', Yamaha RX-A1030 Receiver, and a newer game console. Only 1 game console would be on at a time, so we'll just say PS4, and two bodies.
I wouldn't bother. There are so many variables involved here that looking for an exact figure is really kind of senseless. 18000 btu however is incredible overkill. That's enough to do a 800 to 1000 sq foot room.

Most window AC sizing guides recommend about 7000 to 8000 btu for rooms about 250 sq feet (you're a bit less than that). I would up that to maybe 10000 for the electronics (plasma tv's make really great radiators), and to get a bit of wiggle room.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:11 PM   #7
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How many BTUs do I need?


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Okay, you think you can help me out with this?

Plasma TV 51 inch, 2 1500 VA ups', Yamaha RX-A1030 Receiver, and a newer game console. Only 1 game console would be on at a time, so we'll just say PS4, and two bodies.
Need the VA of the TV, receiver, and game consoles.

If I use the VA of the UPS, your up to 10,239 sensible BTUs for the equipment. So 15,239 BTUs total.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:47 AM   #8
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It's not about dumping conditioned air into any room, but rather first and foremost removing the heat from the room.

Think again..

and by the way and not that in this day and age it matters but cubic square volume...
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:23 AM   #9
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Need the VA of the TV, receiver, and game consoles.

If I use the VA of the UPS, your up to 10,239 sensible BTUs for the equipment. So 15,239 BTUs total.

Home Depot has a 15,000 BTU 120 volt LG brand window unit. 12,000 maybe too small and 18,000 is too big IMO.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:28 AM   #10
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Home Depot has a 15,000 BTU 120 volt Comfort Aire window unit. 12,000 maybe too small and 18,000 is too big IMO.
Being open to another room, that window unit may well be the most appropriate size for what the OP wants.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:29 AM   #11
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How many BTUs do I need?


I agree, any excess cooling will go into the house.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:54 PM   #12
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So does everyone agree that I need approximately 15,000 BTUs?
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:03 PM   #13
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Way too big. Even the 10,000 I suggested above is big.

There are sizing calculators all over the net. When I plug your room size in (with insulation value set to "POOR") the biggest one I get so far is about 8000
http://www.energystar.gov/?c=roomac.pr_properly_sized
http://www.homedepot.com/c/air_conditioners_HT_BG_AP
http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/...ze-calculator/

If you size them too big there are problems. The thermostats for them are internal so they measure the air close by the unit. If you size them too big then they run for shorter cycle periods which does not do an adequate job of removing humidity (which is part of the 'air conditioning' process). A smaller machine running for longer periods is ideally what you want.

I have 10,000 btu in a 10x25 room (9 foot ceiling) with 60" led tv, 9.2 channel pioneer AVR, PS3, mede8er 800 streamer, cable box... yadda yadda, and it works fine.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:05 PM   #14
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How many BTUs do I need?


Bob, what is your summer design temp.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:10 PM   #15
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We can hit Florida temps here in the Summer just as easily as we hit Mars Temperatures in the Winter. We get it all. We just don't get the hot temps for as long.

Moot issue though. He already has central air in the house. He needs to keep a single room under better control.

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